For years Fox has masqueraded as a news network while acting as the Republican Party’s own version of Pravda by spreading misinformation instead of reporting the news. When a Democrat has been in the White House they have concentrated on a constant stream of dishonest attacks. In contrast, when George Bush was president, they shifted away from such criticism and participated in spreading the lies coming from his administration.
The White House is no longer playing along with Fox’s pretense of being a fair and balanced news organization. Earlier in the month when Obama pulled off the “full Ginsburg” he substituted Univision for Fox when doing five interviews the same day. Now the White House is willing to use the L-word. Today The White House Blog posted a Reality Check which began by debunking some of the latest false claims made by Glenn Beck and one of his guests. They began:
Last night Fox News continued its disregard for the facts in an attempt to smear the Administration’s efforts to win the Olympics for the United States. In the past, hosting the Olympics has been a source of pride and unity for the country, but once again Fox News’ Glenn Beck program has shown that nothing is worthy of respect if it can be used as part of a partisan attack to boost ratings.RHETORIC: BECK SAID VANCOUVER LOST $1 BILLION WHEN IT “HAD THE OLYMPICS.” Glenn Beck said, “Vancouver lost, how much was it? they lost a billion dollars when they had the Olympics.” [Transcript, Glenn Beck Show, 9/29/09]REALITY: VANCOUVER’S OLYMPICS WILL NOT TAKE PLACE UNTIL 2010. Vancouver will host the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games from February 12 – 28, 2010 and March 12-21, 2010, respectively. [Vancouver2010.com, accessed 9/29/09]RHETORIC: VALERIE JARRETT “WAS LAST SEEN WITH THE NEA.” Beck’s guest, FOX News contributor Pat Caddell, said, “[Obama] is going to go [to Copenhagen] with Valerie Jarrett who was last seen with the NEA pumping up their use of, you know, money.” [Transcript, Glenn Beck Show, 9/29/09]REALITY: VALERIE JARRETT WAS NOT ON THE NEA CONFERENCE CALL. Valerie Jarrett was not a participant in the August 10, 2009 United We Serve/NEA conference call.
This is just the latest public declaration in the barely-subsurface battle that has been going on for months between Fox News and the White House–which Fox is winning at least in terms of ratings. We are in new terrain here. The White House is using its official blog to go after a network. The network long ago demonstrated that its raison d’etre for the moment is organizing, chaneling and profiting from the opposition to basically anything the White House does.
Since both the White House and Fox are largely trying to rally different audiences, they can both benefit by keeping this fight going. In other words, there is a lot more “Calling ‘Em Out” to come.
At least it was a two way battle. For years Fox has engaged in misinformation campaigns with too little response from the other side.